This is one of the things I like about social media, the immediacy of new music…sure, part of me misses the old days when I had to actually do some work to find out about new band releases or a band’s history but there has to be something said for a band being able to reach out and prod an individual’s curiosity in such a personal and on-tap way. Hey, you…you there…you like new music? Then check this out! Which is where I found myself a while back as ‘Last We Fall followed you’ popped up in my twitter updates…
Morphing out of the mainly covers-band, The Next Day, which in itself had worked with and opened for acts including Y&T, Cinderella, Dokken, Ted Nugent, Saxon, Lynch Mob, Quiet Riot, and Drowning Pool, Last We Fall is a young San Antonio based four piece with an enviable history and a self-proclaimed ambition to become “an all-original and international act”. I’m assuming the follow happened via my twitter-enthusiasm for fellow San Antonians Nothing More who I’d just witnessed, along with Detroit band Wilson, blowing Halestorm completely off the stage (no, really, ask me about it sometime). And on the face of it there are some similarities but really Last We Fall have more of traditional melodic framework and a tighter approach as opposed to, what I’d describe as, Nothing More’s prog leanings. This is their self-titled debut EP, which is available through itunes, reverbnation and through the DecibelGeek Amazon link in the sidebar.
My first impressions were that it has a lot of what I like about early Incubus and Coheed & Cambria…but with an immediately accessible side that both of those bands had to grow into. Part of that accessibility is Ben Foster’s vocal delivery, which is as assured and confident as the band‘s playing, and part of it is the excellent production across the tracks. Above all, however, you just get a sense of a band that is coming into the ring at its fighting fittest; so welcome to the intro.
1. Out of reach
I’m a sucker for a monster riff and this song delivers them in spades with guitar, bass and drums really driving the track on. Foster‘s vocals are excellent as he duels with himself on the chorus, in turns screaming and pleading. Is this addiction?
It’s hard to single out any one member, especially when you hear the full-on assault of the breakdown following the bridge and guitar solo, but drummer Steven Rodriguez deserves a shout out for his double bass work, tom fills, and some awesome unison stops.
2. A love like hate
Again more interesting unison work with stops and touches punctuating the verses that urge you into, and only emphasize, the uplifting chorus when it arrives. This band really knows how to make interesting music on the run, and with a left turn into the bridge section and some more killer riffage from guitarist Danny Davila we’re already staring straight at the the track’s end.
3. Beneath my feet
This is where the lines start to blur and with a pop-punk attack we’re getting very close to bands like My Chemical Romance, which is fine with me but some of you old-skool metal-types might start feeling your age. On the plus side, the laid-back vocal delivery juxtaposes well against the tight playing. It’s a catchy package and has an excellent little bridge breakdown. Another one-two punch; this band doesn’t fuck about.
Straight into some heavy riffing before the softer chorus kicks with a touch of strings, and even a piano, before we’re straight into the riff again with no time to waste. The guitar playing reminds me a lot of Wes Borland, which is a very good thing indeed if you ask me, and like Borland he’s doing far more than you first realise in any given track.
5. I’m human, you’re a hazard
A beast of an intro leads us into this next track and again Rodriguez gets a shout out for some nice double bass use. The chorus is an altogether different beast from the intro riff but the band makes it work with an awesome transition and some great vocals. These guys must be a blast live because the tracks really have that LIVE vibe.
A chiming guitar intro and then it’s attack of the killer double-bass drum again. Having said that, the stand out this time is Davila‘s guitar work with not only that intro but some excellent rhythm playing and licks. The production does a lot to highlight this, which shows the difference, albeit a very slight one, in approach between this track and some of the others which are far more solid and bass-centric to my ears.
Phew, breathe indeed…
Which is where we find ourselves after that blast through Last We Fall’s debut EP. The average track time is just over three minutes so there’s no wonder that, musically, it feels like there’s no excess fat or flabbiness here to be trimmed whatsoever.
The arrangements and band are super-tight and each track tends to provide a multitude of flavours within those miserly minutes whilst still making me want more. So in that regard it can be seen as the perfect debut EP; get in, state your case with confidence, and then get the fuck outta dodge leaving them wanting more.
I wonder what they’ll do with an album…?
Drums – Steven Rodriguez
Vocals – Ben Foster
Electric Guitar – Danny Davila
Bass – Alex Ramirez
Last We Fall official site / Last We Fall on Facebook / Last We Fall on Twitter / Last We Fall on Youtube / Last We Fall on Reverbnation